Customer area
Brighton 01273 685 888
Negligence in Construction
call-answerCall Us
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • ×

    All those who work within the construction industry owe the client a duty of care. This duty stems from the construction professional’s area of expertise, whether as an architect, surveyor, engineer or builder, and the job he or she has been contracted to perform – where there has been a breach of duty and loss or injury have occurred  it may be necessary for the client to make a professional negligence claims against construction contractors professionals.

    After much research we found Robert Johnson to act for us in respect of dispute resolution with a member of our LLP. Robert and his team were professional, responsive and were able to grasp the situation extremely quickly whilst maintaining a personal touch. Robert was always available to answer questions, even when on holiday!! Our dispute was resolved quickly without the need to attend court. We would recommend the services of Robert Johnson and Healys who require the services of a solicitor and would in need use them again in the future. Thank you for all you hard work, understanding and commitment to our case.
    Cooci Associates LLP

    Issues of liability become less clear, however, where the negligence has been committed not by the main contractor but by a subcontractor working under its employ.

    Healys are experts in dealing with Claims Against Construction Contractors, Contact us today if you feel you have been let down by your contractor or subcontractor.  We offer free initial advice on your claim and if you do wish to proceed we offer a “No Win No Fee” service in a form of a Conditional Fee Agreement.

    A short history of the Honeywill rule

    For a long time, following the 1934 ruling of Honeywill and Stein Limited v Larkin Brothers (London’s Commercial Photographers), it was held that the main contractor could be held liable for the negligence of a subcontractor, providing the subcontractor had been employed to carry out hazardous work.

    However, in 2008 the Court of Appeal in London heard the case of Biffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese GmbH and Another and ruled that the “Honeywill rule” should be narrowed to apply in only certain exceptional cases.

    The case related to a fire which had occurred as a result of the negligence of welders subcontracted to install a ball mill at a waste disposal depot.

    The list of contractors and subcontractors involved in the incident reads is convoluted: the first defendant was contracted to design and build a waste disposal plant, they then engaged a second defendant to design a ball mill, who in turn subcontracted the installation to a third party (a welder) whose negligence caused the fire.

    Sherborne Land is a small but fast growing commercial property developer and investor. Since 2005 Healys have provided all elements of the broad range of commercial legal advice that we, and our group companies, have needed. In 2007 I had to seek the advice of Robert Johnson in the commercial litigation department. I am extremely glad that I did – in January 2010 I was awarded substantial damages for a wrong that I had suffered. Although the whole process is obviously a fraught one which is not to be undertaken lightly, Robert helped me through with confidence, calmness and assuredness. His knowledge of both the law and the due process were excellent whilst maintaining an awareness of my commercial needs. It is undoubtedly true to say that during the time that the litigation lasted, I viewed Robert as a partner as well as an advisor, in no small part because he and Healys shared the commercial risk by undertaking the matter on a “no win, no fee basis”. Without his marvellous support I would not have had the courage to take action and would not be in the happy state that I find myself in today.
    Sherborne Land Limited

    In clearing the original contractor of any liability, the Court of Appeal was critical of the Honeywill ruling and stated that its principle should be narrowed to apply “only to activities that are exceptionally dangerous whatever precautions are taken” – in the case of the welder it was clear that the welding had been carried out in the vicinity of “unwetted combustible material”.

    Legal advice and Litigation with Healys’ Solicitors in London and Brighton

    If you have suffered financial loss or personal injury as a result of the negligence of a construction contractor or subcontractor, our professional negligence solicitors can help you proceed with Claims Against Construction Contractors professionals you believe to be liable.

    We provide quick, clear and in-depth advice, and, with transparency on costs, can help you make the right decision as to your best course of action.

    Call Us Today
    Call our London office on 020 7822 4000 or our Brighton office on 01273 685 888. You can also contact us online.
    Call Us Today
    London: 020 7822 4000 Brighton: 01273 685 888 Or you can contact us online: Contact Us
    Negligence in Construction capabilities
    Negligence in Construction experiences
    • Our client, a property developer was in the process of obtaining a property. The case involved two law firms that acted for the buyer & seller. After the transaction was complete, the client discovered that the seller had committed identity fraud and lost a considerable amount of money. Issues included breach of warranty of authority and breach of trust on the part of the solicitors who acted on behalf of the fraudster; the scope of the duty of care of the firm acting on behalf of our clients and whether the clients’ consequential loss of profit was recoverable at law. Our client decided to contact Jerome O’Sullivan and Healys’ Professional Negligence team in order to make a claim. Solicitors’ legal obligations in such circumstances are unclear and this matter may lead to clarification of the law in this regard. The team, led by Jerome O’Sullivan was able to successfully make a claim against the two firms for £1.5million.
    • Our client divorced with his wife and asked his former solicitors to take on his case. After completing procedures, he realised that the law firm had not protected his interests & assets. His wife dissipated all the assets leaving him very surprised and unsatisfied by the service that they had provided. Our client decided to contact Robert Johnson and Healys’ Professional Negligence team in order to make a claim. Robert Johnson and the Healys Family team acted extremely promptly to guarantee our client a success in his claim. They were able to successfully make a claim in the sum of £50,000 for failure in acting for our client’s best interests.
    • Our client’s claim arose out of the failings of her former solicitors to deal with her divorce. This included the dissipation of assets held by the husband in Hong Kong by way of freezing orders. The claim focused on conflicting evidence between the client and husbands solicitor. After lengthy negotiations with the other side, Robert Johnson was able to secure the client £650,000 in compensation.
    • Our client had a previous claim with another law firm in relation to his property being undervalued when sold. Unfortunately our client received poor advice from the previous law firm which resulted in him loosing the initial claim against the mortgagee and valuer. Robert Johnson was able to successfully make a claim against the previous law firm for loss in opportunity. After lengthy mediation with the other side, Robert was able to secure our client £800,000 in compensation.
    • Our client needed advice regarding an Under-Lease, and so they approached a firm about their issue. However, our client soon realised that the firm had given incorrect advice. He decided to contact Healys in order to make a claim against the law firm for failure to advise properly in relation to the purchase of an under-lease, the terms of that under lease, the status of the head lessee and rental payment terms. The team, led by Robert Johnson was able to successfully make a claim for £150,000 against the firm.
    • Our client decided to make a claim against their former solicitor in respect of the failure to advise properly with regard to rights of appointment of LPA Receivers leading to the adoption of the wrong strategy, appointment of receivers and subsequent losses. The team, led by Robert Johnson was able to successfully make a claim against the firm for £4 million in failing to advise on the risks of the strategy.
    • Our client instructed a firm of solicitors to deal with a claim in regard to his former employer. He was unfortunately unaware that the firm he instructed was in financial difficulty. Subsequently the firm went into liquidation. This lead to the solicitor dealing with the case to be negligent towards our client’s case. The team, led by Robert Johnson was able to successfully make a claim for £200,000 against the firm for failure in treating our clients claim with due care and diligence. Nick Evans, our employment law expert, also took part at the claim. We acted for the client under a CFA and since the case the firm in question has been dissolved.
    • The client’s wife was involved in an RTA which led to a claim on the client’s insurance. The insurer instructed a solicitor in the client’s name to commence proceedings to recover the insurer’s losses from the other party involved in the RTA. The solicitor negligently allowed a judgement in default to be entered on a counterclaim against our client. The client was unaware of the judgement until he applied for a mortgage some 15 months later. As a result our client suffered numerous heads of losses including increased mortgage costs and potential loss of earnings because of his job as a police officer. The case was led by Ben Parr-Ferris who made a claim against the solicitor for negligently allowing the judgement on his wife’s RTA insurance claim. The aim of Ben and his team was to safeguard the client’s career and make sure the judgement does not affect his progression. A number of negotiations were attempt with the insurer in order to revert the decision made by the solicitor as an insurer debt. However, both of them failed. Although the team were able to get assurances from our client’s employer that the judgement should not impact the client career in any way. The solicitor has since accepted liability and Ben Parr-Ferris was able to secure our client £30,000 in compensation.
    • While in the process of buying their new home, our clients contacted Property Survey Company in order to complete the required checks on their potential new property. The Property Survey Company completed all the checks and informed our clients that no defects were found. Unfortunately after purchasing the property our clients noticed a number of defects in the property and after getting a second opinion it was found that the original survey was incorrect. The team was able to successfully make claim against the property surveyor as they failed to provide our clients with the survey they asked for but also they failed to identify certain defects in the property. Robert and the team were able to secure £50,000 in compensation for our clients in an out of court settlement.
    • Our client had a significant property portfolio. She found out that a number of her properties had been sold without her knowledge under her ex-husbands name. The properties in question were equally owned by our client and her ex-husband, so no sale should have taken place without her knowledge. After instructing a number of expert witnesses that included a hand writing expert, it was found that the property was unlawfully sold. With this information, Robert Johnson and the Professional Negligence team at Healys was able to secure £750,000 in compensation after lengthy mediation with the other side.
    Negligence in Construction insights
    Negligence in Construction awards
    • Chambers & Partners 2021 : Professional Negligence – "Robert Johnson has considerable expertise representing individuals in negligence claims against solicitors, accountants and real estate agencies. ‘He has excellent analytical skills, strong commitment to his clients and commercial astuteness.‘ ‘He is very easy to work with and always available to respond to any queries.‘ ‘He is able to describe complex details in layperson’s terms while guiding clients through the legal details of the case.'”
    • Legal 500 2021 : Professional Negligence - "Healys LLP ‘compares very favourably with other larger law firms’ in advising individuals and companies on claims against a range of professions. In recent years, the practice has primarily acted against solicitors, though practice head Robert Johnson has a ‘wealth of experience’ in advising on claims involving barristers, architects, surveyors, financial advisers and accountants. David Bailey handles large group claims and fraud issues."
    Negligence in Construction news